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Diamonds

In mineralogydiamond (from the ancient Greek αδάμας – adámas "unbreakable") is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions. Diamond is renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities, most of which originate from the strong covalent bonding between its atoms. In particular, diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material. Those properties determine the major industrial application of diamond in cutting and polishing tools.

Diamond has remarkable optical characteristics. Because of its extremely rigid lattice, it can be contaminated by very few types of impurities, such as boron and nitrogen. Combined with wide transparency, this results in the clear, colorless appearance of most natural diamonds. Small amounts of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red. Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors), which results in its characteristic luster. Excellent optical and mechanical properties, combined with efficient marketing, make diamond the most popular gemstone.

SHAPE

As the name suggests, shape (round, princess, radiant, etc.) describes a diamond's form, primarily as viewed from above. All diamond shapes have different attributes, but overall the beauty of the individual shapes is a matter of personal taste.

 

 


 

CUT

The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance. Put simply, the better a diamond is cut, the more sparkle it will have.

 

 


 

COLOR

A diamond's color grade actually refers to the lack of color. In other words, diamonds that are white, containing little or no color, receive higher quality grades than those with visible color.

 

  • For the purist, look for a colorless diamond with a grade of D-F for a diamond with no discernible color.

 

  • For an excellent value in a diamond with little or no noticeable color to the unaided eye, look for a near-colorless grade of G-I

 

 


 

CLARITY

 

Almost all diamonds have tiny imperfections. Diamonds with few or no imperfections receive the highest clarity grades.

 

 


 

CARAT (WEIGHT)

This is the term with which people are most familiar, but bear in mind that carat is specifically a measure of a diamond's weight.

 

Diamond Certification

What is the difference between the AGSL and the GIA certificates?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) are among the most respected laboratories in the diamond industry. Both laboratories are highly respected due to their consistency and their conservative grading standards. There are minor differences in the terms that each lab uses to describe the qualities of the diamonds, but a certificate from either of these laboratories ensures that you have an accurate assessment of your diamond.